Transport for London is the government body that runs the British capital’s sprawling travel network, including its trains, buses and roads.
Last month, the organization launched a partnership with Twitter to send real-time messages to Londoners about severe travel disruption on the TfL services they follow on the platform. The pilot is just one initiative that TfL is rolling out in its quest to become a digital-first business.
“In the past, public-sector digital services weren’t as up to the minute. But our service is as good as the best retail brands,” said Phil Young, TfL’s head of online.
The organization is an old hand on social media. Since joining Twitter in 2009, it has changed its tack from offering one-way service information to creating a fully fledged customer support platform. Now, TfL handles the majority of customer queries here, with trained support staff available 24/7. With over 4.5 million followers across its 25 feeds, it fields around 3,000 queries a day. Its Twitter support team has an average response time of one minute.
While its new real-time pilot with Twitter is too early for results, Young says feedback has been good so far. He added that it had a “fairly obvious” use case for the capital’s buses and roads.
“They are way ahead given that they are a public body. In my work with clients, I use TfL as an example of early digital change,” Suptasree Roy, associate partner at digital agency Th_nk, told Digiday.
Aside from Twitter, TfL is looking to third-party companies to help extend its services. It’s not just the big brands, either. There are now over 8,000 registered developers than can access TfL’s data after it opened its unified API: So far, they’ve made 500 smartphone apps, which are used by around 42 percent of Londoners. Companies like popular route-planning app Citymapper’s have built entire businesses around this data.
“A lot of companies get caught up in adding layers and complexity. What TfL has done very well is focus on a number of very obvious use cases that feel uncomplicated,” Ben Hart, partner at digital consultancy Atmosphere, told Digiday.
Brands stay silent on Tyre Nichols killing as marketers signal it as an industry backslide
Compared to the things that were said and acted upon during the murder of George Floyd and the protests that took place three years ago, many brands have been relatively quiet around Tyre Nichols.
Giant Spoon picks the Super Bowl to test ChatGPT’s marketing chops
As ChatGPT and AI rise in popularity, one marketing agency has chosen the Super Bowl to try out the technology's creative capabilities.
State Farm to skip out on a Super Bowl ad this year, going all in on TikTok instead
With a $7 million price tag, State Farm is skipping out on a traditional Super Bowl spot in favor of a TikTok campaign this year.
SponsoredAdvertising predictions that will shake up the media industry in 2023
Chris Kelly, CEO, Upwave Like many people, marketers and advertisers were ready to see 2022 come to a close. A year that started off promising was assailed by inflation, layoffs and the disastrous effects of RSV, the flu and additional COVID strains. Still, despite an uncertain outlook for 2023, there are plenty of reasons for […]
Marketing Briefing: Twitter, TikTok vie for ad dollars, offer incentives as they seek to own second screen for Super Bowl
While Twitter has traditionally been the platform that marketers turn to for real-time marketing efforts during the Super Bowl, the shift in leadership and advertiser exodus over the last year has left its place in this year’s Big Game a question: Will its importance continue?
Digiday+ Research: Agencies’ clients more likely to invest in CTV over traditional TV
More than two-thirds of agencies said clients spend at least a little on TV marketing, Digiday+ Research found. And they're more likely to spend on CTV than traditional TV.